Its a big night for China here at the Doom. Thirsty?

"China Siphons Farmers' Water For Olympics

When 16,000 athletes and officials show up this summer, they will be able to turn the taps and get drinkable water -- something few Beijing residents ever have enjoyed.
But to keep those taps flowing for the Olympics, the city is draining surrounding regions, depriving poor farmers of water.
Though the Chinese capital's filthy air makes headlines, water may be its most desperate environmental challenge. Explosive growth combined with a persistent drought mean the city of 17 million people is fast running out of water." LINK

Now, this is the kind of headline that perks me right up.

Actual, real headline from the International Herald Tribune's Business section. I love it when investors can find the sunshine in a rainy day!

"China's crumbling infrastructure a good bet for investors

Hong Kong - China's crumbling roads and overcrowded railroads may be a nightmare for travelers, but the transport sector offers a good bet for investors seeking reliable and growing profits.
The well-publicized transport and power problems of China this winter brought to the fore Beijing's need to plough more money into energy and transport infrastructure.
Millions were left stranded on highways and at train stations as the worst snowstorms in 50 years crippled already creaking infrastructure."

Hideous pollution in China turns river "red and foamy".

Isn't there something in the Bible about what's supposed to happen after the waters turn to blood?

"BEIJING - Pollution turned part of a major river system in central China red and foamy, forcing authorities to cut water supplies to as many as 200,000 people, the provincial government and a state news agency said Wednesday.

Tests showed the polluted waters contained elevated levels of ammonia, nitrogen, and permanganate, a chemical used in metal cleaning, tanning and bleaching, Xinhua said. The pollution apparently flowed down from the Han River, the Hubei government said without elaborating on its source."

Killer robots a 'threat to humanity'. Duh.

Ya think?

"Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.
"They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.
Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world -- from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones -- can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.
There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.
The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.
But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.
South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots. " LINK

Humans messing up the ocean even more than you thought.

"...Human activity seemed nothing when set against the sea itself.

Just a few weeks later, on an uninhabited island in a remote part of the Red Sea, I was proved wrong. The shore above the tide line was covered with old light bulbs, apparently tossed from the endless parade of ships over the years.

About 40 percent of ocean areas are strongly affected, and just 4 percent pristine, according to the review.

The most widespread human fingerprint is a slow drop in the pH of surface waters around the world as a portion of the billions of tons of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere from fuel and forest burning each year is absorbed in water, where it forms carbonic acid.

“I study this stuff all the time and didn’t expect the impacts to be as pervasive as we found,” Dr. Halpern said. " LINK

More state vs. state water fights- and not the fun kind with squirt guns.

Increased production of corn for biofuel is leading to an increase in tension among the states who share the vast (and rapidly shrinking) Ogalalla aquifer. Legal battles have been going on for years, but the new crisis brought on by the increased irrigation for the corn to make ethanol is leading to direct Hatfield-McCoy strife between neighbors.

"To be sure, scientists have been watching the depletion of the Ogallala for decades. Years of drought haven't helped either. But the corn-based ethanol boom has added pressure, and money, to keep the tap on. So to save the river and their water, Adamson and a group of surface water-right holders sued in 2005 to shut off the wells. A hearing is set for June. If they win, hundreds, maybe thousands of groundwater wells irrigating corn could be shut off instantly. "It would devastate the economy," says Doug Sanderson, the city manager of Yuma, the county seat."

Until The End of The World

I post this clip because I couldn't find the clip I wanted- the amazing scene when the satellite is shot down. Great great movie.

Lake Mead, headed out? 50/50 odds. Thirsty?

Well, this is why it's a bad idea to move to a freaking desert.

"What are the chances that Lake Mead, a key source of water for more than 22 million people in the Southwest, would ever go dry? A new study says it's 50 percent by 2021.

"Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction, but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest."

The researchers also noted that their estimates are conservative — in other words, the water shortage is likely to be even more dire than they estimate.

there is also

A 10 percent chance that Lake Mead could be dry by 2014.
A 50 percent chance that reservoir levels will drop too low to allow hydroelectric power generation by 2017. "

Link (thanks to Nat!)

Actual headline: "Snowstorms in China wreck an area of forest larger than England"

"Snowstorms have destroyed or damaged a 10th of China's forests, officials reported this weekend, as clearing up continued amid warnings of further severe weather. Gales and the weight of snow and ice tore down trees as well as bamboo across 60,000 square miles - an area larger than England. The forestry administration said more than half of the country's provinces were affected, with 90% of the land ruined in some areas, reported the official media.

But officials were bracing themselves for more problems as forecasters warned of more snow in the south during the next few days. China's meteorological administration said more storms might hit Guizhou province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which are still struggling to recover from the previous bad weather, and that in other areas rising temperatures could lead to floods and landslides as snow melted." LINK
Also, I seriously have to recommend looking at Xinhua- their special coverage of China's War on Snow Havoc is pretty interesting (not least for the wording!) and the photos are amazing. A few of my favorite headlines below:
and my favorite headline yet
Xinhua's Special Coverage site China's War on Snow Havoc

English climate out of whack- but it's not all just flowers and barbecues. Rats and discombobulated amateur photographers abound too!

"Barbecues and sunbathing were the order of the day when Britain enjoyed some of its hottest-ever February weather at the weekend.

The English hawthorn is expected to flower by the end of the month, more than eight weeks before it normally would. Crocuses opened 11 days in advance of the past decade’s average.

...Britain is facing a plague of rats because of changing weather. Online inquiries to Rentokil have risen by 300 per cent, with reports of more and larger rodents." LINK
All this early blooming is throwing off photographers too.
"Photographers could miss out on capturing pictures of spring flowers because they have appeared much earlier this year than in 2007, warns Kew Gardens in Surrey. " LINK

Water crisis leads to annexation of Tennessee by Georiga? CRAZY!

This is funny as heck and also kind of scary. Tennesee vs. Georgia Water War coming on!

"Nearly two centuries after a flawed survey placed Georgia's northern line just short of the Tennessee River, some legislators are suddenly thirsting to set the record straight.
A historic drought has added urgency to Georgia's generations-old claim that its territory ought to extend about a mile farther north than it does and reach into the Tennessee -- a river with about 15 times greater flow than the one Atlanta depends on for its water." LINK

"A resolution in Georgia's legislature proposes to move the Tennessee-Georgia boundary about a mile to the north of where it now lies." LINK

"Just because we have more sophisticated equipment now, we can't just go around moving borders," said Crattie, who lives in Lookout Mountain, Ga., near the Tennessee border. "If they take this too far, there'll be neighbors shooting everyone all the time." LINK

"Tennessee state Sen. Andy Berke, who represents the disputed southeastern portion of that state, rebuked Georgia legislators for spending time debating "irresponsible land grabs.""It's easy to say, 'Let's just take other people's water,' " he said. "The responsible thing to do is conserve what water we have." LINK